Children take over St John’s School!

Last Monday, as part of Universal Children’s Day, the children in Class 4 at Bollington St John’s ‘took over’ the school!

The children all applied for the school jobs they wanted, were interviewed during the week before the event and were awarded a variety of positions in the school from Head Teacher to Site Manager.

The Head Teachers spent the day observing lessons, leading worship and evaluating the impact of the day…

The Site Managers arrived at school at 7.15am to open up and then proceeded to do risk assessments and check the safety of the site, both inside and out…

Children who elected to be Teachers, Sport Leads and Teaching Assistants planned and delivered amazing lessons. Children working as Administrators staffed the office brilliantly and provided a warm welcome to anyone visiting the school. Our (regular!) Head of Teaching and Learning, Ellen Watson (who organised the day) said: “This was a wonderful opportunity for the children and they rose to the challenge. This initiative links to our work as a Global School, and we are so very proud of all the children”

Melanie Walker (Head Teacher, Bollington St John’s CE Primary School)


“It looks and sounds as though it was a really fantastic day, with the children thoroughly enjoying the opportunity to step into the roles of the staff. I could sense the enthusiasm and excitement during my visit the previous week!”

Chris Penn (Director of Education, Chester Diocesan Board of Education)

Remembrance Sunday 2017

Brian Reader

Good morning to you. I don’t normally go off script, but this morning at our short Remembrance Service I was quite moved as all the names were read out.  I recalled what I had heard, (at ‘A Concert to Remember’ arranged by Rotary at St Michael and all Angels Church in Macclesfield last night) when we were told that since 1914, eighty million had been killed by war or terrorist acts. Eighty million – that is more than all the people in the United Kingdom including all those we don’t know about.

Looking back I found that I preached my first Remembrance Sermon 22 years ago today and it was interesting to read what I had said then, and on subsequent Remembrance Sundays. One thing I discovered was that I could never preach any of those sermons again as the world has changed so much during those 22 years.

For the past three years we have heard a lot about the First World War and I am sure we will hear much more about it next year as the centenary of the armistice is approached. In re-reading those sermons I was reminded that it was only in 1995, that I fully grasped what effect the carnage of that war had at a personal level.

I had been on holiday up in Scotland, and we decided to go and have a look in the Doune Motor Museum. We had the place to ourselves and could look at this large collection of interesting cars which were nearly all roadworthy. One car took my eye,  It was a small 1913 Sunbeam 3 Litre sports car.  I can picture it now, British Racing green, a lovely swallow tail, an outside hand brake and a leather strap over the bonnet. A car any young man would have been proud of. But something was wrong. The number plate; it was modern.

I then looked at the plaque which told you something about the car. It had not been registered until 1974. A farmer’s plough had hit it, and it had been dug up and restored.

It had lain buried for nearly 70 years. Can you believe that?

Someone had just buried that lovely car. Imagine the grief of that family, the father mother, wife or sister, who could not bear to have the prised possession of their son, husband or brother about them, to remind them of their great loss. So when they knew that their loved one was dead, they buried his car just as he had been buried on a far-away battle field.

But although we all know a lot more about the First World War it appears that this modern generation knows little about the Second World War, the Battle of Britain or the Battle of the Atlantic when many brave lives were lost to bring us food. As shops are open every day with food flown in from all over the world children, cannot imagine what it was like during the war, with rationing and vital food being brought in convoys across the Atlantic fighting their way across with the constant threat from submarines, enemy warships and bombers.

A paper recently reported, that when school children were questioned, they thought that we had fought alongside the Germans in the last war!!   I wonder what history is taught in schools!

Although we are not at war, we still live in troubled times. There are threats of terrorism and unrest and in the Far East, North Korea is threatening the USA with nuclear rocket attack. It also appears that the morality of prominent members of our society, including our politicians is under suspicion and is being investigated.  Much of society seems ‘Hell bent’, (and I use the words advisedly,) in getting the maximum out of the system with the minimum of effort. It makes you think that if the call came today, few would be willing to sacrifice all to defend what they believed in. It is therefore not surprising that some of those who fought to bring freedom, question where this modern world is headed.

Where will it all end? What is the point of carrying on?

On this Remembrance Day we need to look around and see if this country and the world is worthy of the sacrifice of those who fought in wars to end all wars.

Jesus said, ’Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.  How was Jesus able to say this? It was because He himself was to give his life to be a sacrifice for all.

Twelve days ago, in Faith Hour we heard this read. ‘During Old Testament times, the high priest’s work was never finished! Do you know why? Because the people where always sinning, so lambs had to be constantly sacrificed to atone for their sins.

However, when Jesus died, rose again and went back to heaven, the first thing He did was to sit down, because the work of salvation was finished! The Bible says: ‘Christ did not have to offer himself many times. He wasn’t like a high priest who goes into the most holy place each year to offer the blood of an animal. Instead, he offered himself once and for all, so that he could be a sacrifice that does away with sin, and because of Christ’s ‘once and for all’ sacrifice on the cross, you have direct access to God at any time. The moment you say, ‘Father, I come in the name of Jesus,’ you’re made welcome and all your needs are met.

There’s a story from American civil war days about a soldier sitting on a bench outside the white House looking depressed. A little boy passing by stopped and asked what was wrong. The soldier told him he needed to see president Lincoln but the guards wouldn’t let him in. Hearing this, the boy took him by the hand and led him directly into the president’s office. ‘Father,’ he said, ‘this man really needs to speak with you.’ That boy was the president’s son; he had direct and continuous access to his father, and because you belong to Jesus, you do too!

So today let us approach the God the Father, through Jesus his Son, and ask that we can be made agents of God’s love and peace to help this world become a better place for all.

AMEN.

Cheshire Anti-Slavery Network – PLEASE VOTE!

Project Freedom – Vote now to try and get funding allocated.

Voting Closes 12 noon on 21 November 2017.

Slavery is not, of course something confined to the history books two hundred year ago. Modern Slavery, in its many forms, continues around us, all too often unrecognised, and the churches of Cheshire are already contributing to how the issues are addressed within Cheshire.

Register with Aviva Community Fund and Vote for Project Freedom – link here to read more, to register, and to vote.

To read more about Cheshire Anti-Slavery Network – click here

WHAM 2017-18

Winter Hope Assistance in Macclesfield (WHAM)
Last year, during the period from 16–19 December 2016 to 17–20 March 2017, 21 different male guests were given at least one night’s shelter with 104 nights’ accommodation provided in total.  Guests, on average, stayed for 2¼ nights over a weekend; an increase on last year. Volunteers from over 15 churches have helped staff the Shelter.  There have also been volunteers from individuals without known church connections.

This year it is intended to operate the Shelter from 15 December 2017 to 19 March 2018.

There will be two training sessions for volunteers for this coming winter:
Saturday 25 November from 1000 to 1230 – Volunteer Training
Obligatory session for all new volunteers and optional for previous volunteers.  This will comprise an update on procedures followed by a Q&A session

Saturday 2 December from 1000 to 1230 – Shift Leader Training
Obligatory session for all shift leaders.  Will generally be an interactive session

Both sessions will take place in the Bollington Room, United Reformed Church, Park Green, Macclesfield. Please make every effort to attend these sessions and it would be helpful to have an idea of numbers.  If you would like to help in this work please talk to Veronica who will provide contact details. If you would like training but cannot attend the above dates,  alternative sessions can be arranged.


This year, HOPE is looking for an Equipment Manager as an additional member of the core WHAM team.  The main responsibilities are:

  • Maintain the inventory of equipment
  • Arrange replacement of any damaged or worn out equipment
  • Supervise a review of equipment at the start of the WHAM season
  • Organise (with Cre8) the transfer of equipment from church to church each week
  • Check that the WHAM food stock is maintained

If anyone is interested in taking responsibility for all or part of this please contact Veronica.

Bollington Cross School – OUTSTANDING!

Bollington Cross C.E Primary School recently had its Church of England inspection (for Anglican and Methodist schools) and is proud to share the news that it was rated once again as OUTSTANDING across all areas inspected!

We would like to thank Canon Veronica and other Foundation Governors at St Oswald’s who supported the school throughout the inspection and continue to work closely with us. We are thankful for our close relationship with St Oswald’s as it greatly enhances the Christian values and ethos at our school.

Vicar’s Letter – November 2017

If November is a month both for remembrance of the pity of war and also celebration of friends and loved ones lost from our sight and touch, then December is a month both for reflection on our own mortality and also thanksgiving for the joys to come. The Church offers us the season of Advent as a time of preparation, not just for Christmas but also for some (hopefully distant) future time when our earthly life’s journey will reach its end. This certainly doesn’t mean these next few weeks should be all doom and gloom! Rather it means that between now and the end of the year we have opportunities to celebrate the gift of life and the legacies left to us by others, as well as to consider what our own legacy will be, what we will be remembered for, what positive difference we might make to the wellbeing of the world and of the people entrusted to our care.

You are warmly invited to come and spend some time here at St Oswald’s over the course of one particular December weekend, when you can take a break from “retail therapy” and enjoy some reflective, relaxing, quiet, contemplative time in good company and with God!

On Saturday 16 December, we are offering you the chance to spend part or all of the day in church, when we might explore some Advent themes in a whole variety of ways. The Quiet Day will begin with coffee/tea at 9.30am, leading into the first of a succession of “thoughts for the day” from the Vicar at 10.00am, followed by some optional creative activities/prayer aids/reading material to help you settle into the silence as the day progresses. There will be interludes when we break for a simple lunch at 12.30pm, for tea/coffee (and cake?!) at 3.30pm, and for a further simple sustaining snack at 6.30pm, then we’ll finally close our Quiet Day by sharing Compline (Night Prayer) at 9.30pm. My intention is that people may like to come and go during the break times, with the chance to stay for as long or as short a time as they wish, but with those specific transitional refreshment intervals offering an easy point at which to arrive or depart without undue disruption to others.

On Sunday 17 December, as always everyone is welcome to share in our informal Third Sunday Family Communion at 10.30am. Then, later on, you are invited to return at 3.00pm to round off the whole weekend with another kind of feast – this time to join in singing Carols by Candlelight, followed by seasonal refreshments and then enjoy listening to music played on our pipe organ, appreciating its newly re-furbished bellows (achieved thanks to your generosity in fundraising once again)!

So this whole weekend will be something of an Advent Adventure! Please do make a note of it all in your personal Advent Calendar – a great seasonal opportunity to open the doors of your heart and mind to God’s angelic message, as Christ humbly comes to greet us here, asking to be let into our busy lives and offering us perhaps a gently challenging, as well as powerfully refreshing, glimpse of heaven.

Every blessing,
Veronica